Friday, May 23, 2014

... on Thomist vs Newtonian Metaphysics

Taking here a few comments on a video by Carl Wieland, Med Dr, formerly physician and now creation apologist. Namely where I think he could profit from reading St Thomas. And not just as a historic curiosity about a Confession he considers superseded by the Reformation.

World winding down -- an interview with Dr Carl Wieland (Creation Magazine LIVE! 3-20)

Here we come to a metaphysical distinction.

You seem to think the Universe is running its processes on energy provided by God when he "wound it up" in the beginning. I call the position basically Deist.

I think day and night show God providing every single moment new energy for the Universe to rotate around earth.

And this means you seem to think God created a clockwork which he wound up and watches unfold. I think God created an instrument which He is playing.

I do therefore not believe the Universe is an isolated system.

It is like saying the violin is an isolated system as against the player (or, more mechanistically, that the electric light is an isolated system as against the electric dynamo in a water driven or uranium driven plant - but VERY unlike God the dynamo has no freewill or knowledge about what it provides electricity for).

The Universe is not isolated from the God who is keeping it going - precisely as long as He likes to.

Just as the violinist can cease playing any time and will probably do so as soon as he has finished playing a really great composition, God will make the daily rotation of Universe around earth cease (as previously once very shortly in Joshua's time) as soon as the story of Apocalypse chapters 19 - end is come to the conclusion of Doomsday.


Wieland, teaching methods have somewhat changed since your time. When I was at High School I could ask how we know Heliocentrism is true.

I did get an answer which for the moment satisfied me. There is a beautiful correspondence (excepting the orbit of Mercury) between masses and orbits and the Heliocentric Newtonian theory.

However, I had not checked up on the fact that the masses of heavenly bodies are usually known - or supposed to be known - from orbits as analysed by Newtonian Theory. NOR on the fact that the argument presupposes a purely mechanistic explanation is true, while we Christians - specifically Catholics who are faithful to the Middle Ages as Ages of Faith - have an option of angelic movers, one for each star.

An option that methodological atheism of course lacks.

Need I even state that angelic movers of the stars would neither come into question as objects of worship (their place in liturgy being a brief mention in the "una cum angelis atque archangelis ... ranging up to cherubim quoque ac seraphim" presumably identical to the "powers", or for that matter the words of the Three Young Men in the Furnace Daniel 3, LXX / Vulgate Douay-Rheims versions) NOR as coming down the way Roswell creatures or "Pleiadeans" have been sighted?

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